San Antone

The other day when I was in San Antonio, we took a walk on the famous river walk looking for some breakfast. Most of the restaurants were pretty much closed as it was brunch time and they were prepping for lunch and dinner so we walked and walked until we found a restaurant. Since they were using a jack hammer right out the door, I chose to continue on our way, but we came back since it was our only option. We ordered huevos rancheros. It wasn’t a Mexican restaurant, but they made the best huevos rancheros I’d ever eaten and we ate inside away from the jack hammering so it was a tasty and pleasant meal. After that, we took off to go check out the Mercado a few miles away. I hadn’t intended to buy any souvenirs for my children that I left home to attend school, but once at the awesome Mercado, I couldn’t resist. Then, my uncle said we have to go into this place and show you. We went inside this restaurant and it was the most visually stimulating and gorgeous place. It is a restaurant with a lot of historical importance to the city, but despite the fact that I’d been there dozens of times I hadn’t been there. Luckily, we had a wonderful breakfast earlier on the river walk or I’d have been very disappointed we didn’t get to eat at this amazing location. http://www.mitierracafe.com

café y panaderia

café y panaderia

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Capitol Reef National Park

photo edited entrance sign

photo edited entrance sign

The day after we hiked Delicate Arch we headed South via Capitol Reef National Park. It was a fairly scenic day. We saw a very limited amount of fellow travelers as it was 12/28/2013 and Capitol Reef is a less visited awesome spot. In fact, they didn’t seem to have an official visitor’s center where you had to pay your fee, but it didn’t much matter since we’d purchased the annual pass the day before at the Arches Visitor Center.

petroglyphs

petroglyphs

All things considered, I felt like Capitol Reef was very similar to Zion National Park where I go frequently, but it was definitely more off the beaten path.

Capitol Reef

Capitol Reef

Arches National Park

We never made it to Moab, we headed straight into Arches National Park. We bought our annual National Park pass for $80, spent 2 minutes at the visitor’s center, and realized we needed to get going as we had a few precious hours we could attempt to do a big hike before the sun went down. We headed directly to the Delicate Arch hike. The map said it was a 3 mile total round trip hike for most abilities. Okay, totally doable. There was snow on the pathway immediately, which was a little bit concerning, but how bad could it be this hike was basically rated for most people. Well, we soon approached a very enormous red rock sandstone slab that was basically a mountain and it was mostly dry or glistening from melting snow and conditions were still okay, but I knew we only had about a 2 hour window to get out of there before the sun would go down. We hiked as quickly as a family of 5 with kids 11, 9, and 7 could go up the rock. It was all pretty awesome and there was a lot of beauty to appreciate, but it wasn’t warm and the sun was shining on us, but I knew better than to think that would be the case on our return trek. Most of the time, we were walking on dry sandstone, but when we turned the last bend, we discovered it was snow packed and people were falling and there was a 50 foot or so drop off if you fell off the path. We had come a long way and we were not equipped with proper gear which would have included crampons, but we continued anyway cause we knew we had almost reached our goal. When we got there, it was glorious DELICATE ARCH. It was amazing how close we were to it. This photo is when we were enjoying the trek on the huge rock.arches2

The below photo was the reality of the return part on the descent back. I took a spill. Not only did I not have crampons, but I had very poor tread on my shoes. It was very scary. In fact, I was actually quite mad that the entire hike I didn’t see one park ranger and NO caution sign on the trail and amateur tourists everywhere. We made it back to the car and I was very happy to be safe and sound and I went hunting for any sign of caution by the park employees. I found this sign as big as a regular piece of paper. We made it out of there with very little daylight to go and completely in the shade for the return so we were successful. One hour later, we got a very late 7:00 p.m. lunch in Green River before crashing at the local Holiday Inn.arches1